Protestants, Nominalism, and Natural Law

10Just a short post, continuing my look at the relationship of Protestantism and natural law.  For background, I suggest this post and at least the conclusion of this post.

John Vervaeke on Jonathan Pageau:

Jonathan Pageau is way more radical than people realize because he is rejecting nominalism at a profound level.  He thinks there are real patterns everywhere, as far as I can tell and they have a life of their own – they have an independent existence to which we have to respond.

Pageau and patterns.  What are patterns but an extension of Plato’s universal forms as embodied in Aristotle’s.  This as opposed to the nominalism described by those like Scotus and Occam – and embraced by Luther and many early Protestants.

That makes him much more radical than most of modern Christianity because modern Christianity – especially Luther…Luther is explicitly and deeply influenced by nominalism; deeply, deeply.  And this has been insinuating into Protestantism, I would say (and I welcome Paul’s [VanderKlay] response on this), and has become pervasive throughout Western Christianity.  Eastern Orthodoxy not as much because it is still tied to Neo-Platonism.

Without universals (patterns, when extended), natural law is not possible.  Nominalism denies patterns; nominalism places all on the will of God, not the reason of God.

As I have noted several times before: it seems to me that God willed a universe that is governed by His reason.  As He breathed into man, God’s reason is also our reason – albeit imperfect, given our fallen nature.  If viewed through this lens, there is no conflict between the expression of God’s will and reason.

And, therefore, there need not be any conflict between Protestants and natural law.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

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